How to Unsuck Corporate Jargon


Somewhere, a grammarian cries whenever an office email contains jargon like “upskill” or “calendarize.” Fortunately, Mule Design Studio‘s Unsuck-It.com transforms business twaddle into sparse Hemingway prose—or at least English. Here, for example, is a soul-crushing bizspeak sentence translated into something E.B. White might recognize:

“We can’t boil the ocean, so let’s start by bucketizing the deliverables and picking the low-hanging fruit.”

Unsucked: “We can’t waste time, so let’s prioritize what we can easily accomplish.”

More corporate argot defanged for your amusement and dismay:

Bubble up: Tell someone with more authority.

Bucketize: Sort into categories.

Deep dive: Focus on or explore details.

EOD: End of the workday.

Foils: Slides.

Long pole in the tent: The most difficult task. The hard part, ahem.

Net-net: In summary.

Open the kimono: Share information. Reveal.

Solutioneering: Thinking.

Mule Design, in addition to doing kickass work, also has a kickass work ethic that makes me want to stand up and salute. Here’s how co-founder Erika Hall describes it.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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